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When did Cozumel steal your heart away


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#1 Coz2wonder

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Posted 03 August 2010 - 11:27 AM

I think it's a good time to remember why we came this way (Crosby, Stills and Nash).

First time we came here was 1975. We stayed at the Mara Hotel (Fontan now). My breath was taken away with the color of the water...the breezes, the people (population was about 20-25K)

Our son was 5 years old, we taught him how to use a face mask, and snorkel. What a wonderful, delightful time we had.

Those memories where the beginning of many years of visits to Cozumel, then the plotting and planning on how to live here.

Cozumel has a way of making things right, that go wrong.

So, why did YOU come this way?
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#2 nauticab

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Posted 03 August 2010 - 02:54 PM

witness protection program. haha

came here christmas day 1993, 2 weeks after getting certified to dive. fell in love right away. ate dinner at the old las tortugas, loved the walking around at night with the nice breeze, and my first words after i did my giant stride looking at the reef below were "holy sh*t, let's go down!"
put a fork in me, i was done. spent every vacation and every dime visiting and decided, hey, might as well move here and i did. no regrets.
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#3 Jean Mc

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Posted 03 August 2010 - 02:56 PM

So, why did YOU come this way?
[/quote]

We first visited Cozumel with friends in 1990 and stayed at Sol Cabanas del Caribe. This is where we learned to snorkel and fell in love with Cozumel and the people. We always returned to Sol Cabanas until Wilma visited. Now we stay at Condumel. We have introduced our sons and their families to Cozumel and snorkeling and hope that some day they can return with us.
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#4 hillbilly

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Posted 03 August 2010 - 06:57 PM

Just read the last entry and so so many things that sounded so familiar. Mostly the cabanas which we first visited in 2000. The restaurant next door was extremely special because of the breakfasts that they had and the tables that sat right next to the edge of the water. Every time we come back we go and visit the remains of the cabanas del sol hoping that somebody will fix them up. Does anyone know if that is in the future?
Since we came back every other year we have always seemed to enjoy the culture more and more along with the diving of course. To us now the people of the island and the little out of the way places are the most interesting to us.I wish I could capture the color of the ocean and bring it home as we just do not seem to be able to do that.
I will never forget our first sticker shock of the first cab ride either, We now rent a car and do what we want,much better.Last May we purchased a home in Corpus Christy and will have to wait for some value to return to some of our investments before we can winter there or all the time,We do not know yet. We live in a mountain home outside denver and it has its own beauty here but no ocean sooooooo! we will see.
In the meantime we will be back in november(staying in a hotel) and will visit our house which is rented out.
I would like to say thanks to the miracle whip lady and her husband Greg for a lot of info before our purchase there, All the posts you put out there are a big help
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#5 ez_stop1

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Posted 03 August 2010 - 07:19 PM

My first visit to Cozumel was by way of Playa del Carmen. We stayed up and down the Mayan Riveria coast and traveled a little inland as well over the years. My husband, being a diver, was always begging me "let's stay on Cozumel" to which I always promptly replied, 'no way, I like the mainland'. He kept at me over time and finally begged enough telling me, 'we'll just stay one time and if you don't like it....we'll never go back'. Well - the rest is history. We've never stayed on the mainland since that one time. It's the only place in the whole world where I can truly relax and feel at home. It's the most special place in the world - truly like no other.
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#6 Kandy

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Posted 03 August 2010 - 08:43 PM

My first visit here was in 1998. The moment my feet touched the tarmac, I was struck by something very spiritual. That may sound crazy to some, but this island spoke to me. I have felt more at peace here than anywhere else I've been. Over the years, I came more and more often, staying longer and longer. My husband and I laid a blanket on the beach and performed our own marriage ceremony on Aug 15, 2000. In 12 days, we will celebrate with a renewal of vows and a party at our new home here. We must return to the states one last time to liquidate what we own, then we will be here full time. The goal is December.

I still feel I am home. This island and its people are truly special.
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#7 Jean Mc

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Posted 04 August 2010 - 11:26 AM

[quote name='hillbilly' date='03 August 2010 - 06:57 PM' timestamp='1280883453' post='4568']
Just read the last entry and so so many things that sounded so familiar. Mostly the cabanas which we first visited in 2000. The restaurant next door was extremely special because of the breakfasts that they had and the tables that sat right next to the edge of the water. Every time we come back we go and visit the remains of the cabanas del sol hoping that somebody will fix them up. Does anyone know if that is in the future?

So many great memories of Sol Cabanas, such as Domingo bringing the pot of fresh coffee to the room in the morning, tossing bread to the fish after breakfast, Bar Beulah, Trinidad, Carlos, Julio, etc. and all the great conversations around the beach bar, and who could forget Miguel?
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#8 2islandbums

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Posted 04 August 2010 - 01:48 PM

Bought a timeshare in Cancun 1993 next year did a day trip to Cozumel (little island you wouldn't want to stay long surely not over night)at least that is what the told us.
The first time my mask hit the water I was done!!!!!!!!
Every trip after that we would stay for 3 or 4 days. That lasted 2 years never went back to Cancun still have the timeshare just rent it to people that like that kind of thing.
The first place we stayed was Le Ceiba (before El Cid days)
The Plaza las Glorias, Hotel Plaza Cozumel and one or two of the ones around the plaza

Is the mainland still over there?
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#9 dawnb

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Posted 04 August 2010 - 03:03 PM

After many trips to many different islands, Caribbean and Hawaiian, we booked a trip to Cozumel and arrived shortly after Hurricane Wilma wreaked her destruction. My husband and I are the Laurel and Hardy of travelers, and anything that could possibly go wrong, did. From being sucked in by the airport timeshare guy to being unable to find our hotel, if you could screw things up, we did. In a rental car.

We fell totally in love with the island. Got hugs and a "Senora! I knew you'd be back!" from the beach clubs. Wheeling our suitcases trying to find our rental car to return to the airport, a well-dressed business man stopped, turned to us, and said "Thank you. Thank you so much for coming."

Suites Colonial was where we stayed the first couple times. Never got the free breakfast as several large Europeans decimated the whole thing and were too big to dodge. Cocoas was across the way and had a delicious and very cheap breakfast with cinnamon infused coffee. They have since closed.

We have made lifetime friends. We snorkel and have swum with the whale sharks. We are seriously addicted to Cozumel and must return 3 times a year. The street vendors are starting to ignore us as we are such familiar faces.

How does one explain this place? I am too old and uncoordinated to do cartwheels, but that is how I feel when I step off the plane.
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#10 Valli

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Posted 04 August 2010 - 07:38 PM

Cozumel had me at “hello/hola.”

My family had been travelling to Cozumel since the early 1980's and fell in love with the island. They would always stay at the Plaza las Glorias (now Cozumel Palace) and would come back from every trip with stories of meeting people, adventures, places they ate, the beauty of the ocean, etc. They couldn't wait to go back, and vacationed in Cozumel for 13 years in a row.
I had to see what all this was about, so I went down my first time with a friend in 1991, stayed for a week also at the Plaza las Glorias. This was in the good old days of direct flights.
I remember my first glance at the beautiful Caribbean and thinking, “WOW.” Also tried snorkelling for the first time and realized I found paradise. I remember sitting at the park by the Naval Base early in the morning and drinking coffee and feeling such a sense of contentment. I recall breakfasts at a place near the Plaza las Glorias called Mini Lenny’s. My most vivid recollection was the friendliness of the people I encountered. Visiting the mercado and going to the town square in those days was a real fun time.
Life and work took over the next few years, and I returned again in 1995 for my second visit to the island, and again stayed at the Plaza las Glorias. It happened that Carnival was in full force during that visit, and I couldn’t get over the beauty and colours of the flamboyant costumes, the atmosphere of pure joy, the dancing in the streets. I took my first ferry ride to Playa del Carmen and visited Akumal and was in awe of the beautiful beaches that seemed to stretch forever.
When I returned home, I realized I was hooked and started planning my next trip. Since 1995 I have come down to the island 2 - 3 times a year, and have increased the length of my stays, it never seems long enough. I moved away from staying in hotels and started renting a little casita in the back of a property of a friend, and have since progressed to renting private villas in town which allows me to explore, learn about the different neighbourhoods, shop for food, stumble on excellent restaurants, etc. I have met some fantastic people, both locals and ex-pats and have been fortunate to have made some wonderful and lasting friends through this very forum. They have stood by and supported me during some very difficult family challenges and go out of their way to welcome me each time I return to the island.
I have travelled to Cuba, Dominican Republic, as well as other areas of Mexico, but Cozumel is the destination that holds a special place in my heart and always beckons me to return.
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Valli

#11 Free Richard

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Posted 04 August 2010 - 09:47 PM

Cozumel stole my/our heart when Greg Maue, Bob Parmeter and I spent a weekend at the Fontan. I cant tell you all how special that was. The Minnesotans know how to party.

FREE RICHARD

PS Mike Stout was invited but his plane was delayed
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#12 dos margaritas

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Posted 05 August 2010 - 10:14 PM

My first trip to Cozumel was back in 1981. My friend came here on vacation and I decided to tag along. I had no idea that a place could make you feel the way that Cozumel made me feel. I truly felt joyous just being there and that feeling has never changed. I was 27 years old then and have been coming back several times a year since then. I lived in Cozumel for a year in the early 90's and was devastated when I had to move back to the States to tend to my business there. To this day, that feeling of relief and joy hits me the moment I spot Cozumel from the plane. My first stay there in '81 was at Suites Elizabeth, later on hotels north of town and then to Plaza Las Glorias and Casa Mexicana because we like being close to town. We have a house there now and usually don't leave Coz without having flight arrangements for our next trip before we leave. We plan on retiring there when the time comes. Cozumel has changed in many ways since my first trip 29 years ago, but then so have I. Hopefully, in both cases, many of the changes are for the good.

Places I loved then (to eat and play): Just walking along the water on Rafael Melgar, Sunday nights on the Plaza watching the children and listening to the music, Restaurant by Sol Cabanas del Caribe, Las Tortugas (the old spot), Pepe's, Scaramouch Disco, Carlos & Charlies when it was in town up those steep stairs (remember I was in my early 30s then) relaxing at Mezcalitos when it was just about the only thing on the other side. The courtyard at Rolandi (now Guidos)was(and still is) so romantic. Shopping at the Mercado in El Centro and eating frijol con puerco and tacos at the lunch places there was (and still is)great. I could go on forever, but there are so many new and wonderful places too: Kinta, La Veranda, Conchita del Caribe, Camillos, still love Guidos, Pepe's (still romantic to me), walking along the water on Rafael Melgar and Sunday nights on the Plaza.

The most wonderful things about Cozumel though are the warm, friendly people and the breath taking beauty of the island and turquoise water. That has stayed a constant.
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#13 Lizard

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Posted 06 August 2010 - 09:39 AM

Our first trip was for our wedding anniversary in October of 1995. After much nagging by my husband,I'd gotten certified in January, diving fresh water in Florida. We stayed at the Fiesta Inn (now Hotel Cozumel). Coming from the landlocked midwest, I couldn't believe that water could be that color, that clear, that warm. My first ocean dive was a shore dive at Galapagos Inn (now Scuba Club). I saw a Stoplight Parrotfish a parrotfish! :lol: and I was hooked on diving and Cozumel forever. (Didn't know at the time that seeing a parrotfish is the Cozumel equivalent of seeing a squirrel in St. Louis!) I did my first boat dive on Palancar Reef on October 9. Must admit I was a little nervous. I think the only thing I saw on that dive was the divemaster's fins, on which my eyes were glued the entire dive, lest I get lost.

Anyway, not sure if October 1995 rings a bell, but October 10, 1995 was Hurricane Roxanne. We rode out the hurricane at the hotel. Our anniversary dinner was Goldfish crackers and cold hamburgers by flashlight. (Another first for this midwestern girl!) Of course, the people of Cozumel are amazing, and the morning after the hurricane the hotel managed to serve us hot coffee and breakfast despite the rubble in the lobby and the lack of electricity or running water.

We were diving again before the end of the week, and my life was changed forever. I was hooked on diving, and hooked on Cozumel. We've been back many times since, and, if the Airline Gods are willing, we'll be at a beach club drinking Sol by tomorrow afternoon! :D
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#14 Coz2wonder

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Posted 06 August 2010 - 11:48 AM

ah, so many great stories....I do love "(Didn't know at the time that seeing a parrotfish is the Cozumel equivalent of seeing a squirrel in St. Louis!)"

There is truly something magical, mystical, and enchanting about Cozumel.

We love, protect, and seek refuge here...in our dreams, when we can not sleep we remember the water, we remember...
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#15 two ladies & a guy

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Posted 06 August 2010 - 01:14 PM

My mother and father brought my sister and I to Cozumel 35 yrs ago. There was one hotel on the far north end of the island, we had just completed diving course. My family has always vacationed in Mexico starting when we were very young, you could go all summer and not see another american. From the time I was young I always said I wanted to retire to Mexico, after that trip to Cozumel I knew at that young age that I had found the place in Mexico I wanted to retire to. After numerous trips to Cozumel over the next 35 years I can now say that my life has come full circle. How lucky can I be that my husband also loved Cozumel and was more then willing to retire here. For extra fun my sister was able to retire about the same time and came here also. Life is good.
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#16 Coz2wonder

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Posted 06 August 2010 - 02:20 PM

bump
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#17 themagicofdesign

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Posted 06 August 2010 - 06:08 PM

I fell in love with Cozumel the first day I arrived on vacation in 1998. After checking in at the Villablanca Hotel, I walked across the street to Apple's Dive Paradise shop and saw all the wet suits with the holes in them blowing in the breeze. It was so hot that first day and I had no pesos so I began to walk to town. A taxi driver stopped and I explained I had only large bills in dollars. No problem, he said. He could take me and wait while I went in the bank. He drove me to the main street near the clock and pointed me to what is now HSBC bank. I got turned around but knew it would be no problem to find him as his taxi was red and white. To my surprise when I came out of the bank, all the taxis I saw were red and white and I had forgotten to get the number. How was I going to pay him the fare? A few feet out of the bank, he appeared, smiling, waiting patiently. I knew then this place could be home!
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#18 La Bella

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Posted 20 August 2010 - 10:00 AM

I think it's a good time to remember why we came this way (Crosby, Stills and Nash).

First time we came here was 1975. We stayed at the Mara Hotel (Fontan now). My breath was taken away with the color of the water...the breezes, the people (population was about 20-25K)

Our son was 5 years old, we taught him how to use a face mask, and snorkel. What a wonderful, delightful time we had.

Those memories where the beginning of many years of visits to Cozumel, then the plotting and planning on how to live here.

Cozumel has a way of making things right, that go wrong.

So, why did YOU come this way?



Let me tell you why I came to Cozumel. My husband and I have been visiting Cozumel since 1986. The first time we visited Coz was for our wedding anniversary and we stayed at the Cozumeleño hotel. While we were checking-in, I met Harriett, she was the reservation's manager. She showed us around the hotel and during our conversation, she told us how she had been living on the island for a while and that she loved it. At that time, I could not comprehend why she loved the island so much.
But after several trips to Coz, I understood exactly why she was in love with it. My husband will be retiring in January and I hope soon thereafter, we can spend sometime in Coz. We want to first live there for a few months before we decide if we want to move permanently. I have been following this web site for a while now. Although I had to re-register when you redesign the web site.
I look forward to reading all your comments. It is really wonderful. I hope we meet some of you on our next trip. I will let you know when.
:rolleyes: La Bella
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#19 diverdicozumel

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Posted 26 October 2010 - 09:15 PM

For me, it was 1988, and a trip to Cancun. Could not wait to leave the place! Seemed like Miami to me. Not the Mexico I was looking for. I remember wondering why it took me so long to come to Mexico, when it had so much history, beauty, wonderfully warm people and great food. Did a side trip in 88 to Cozumel, in 89 came back to the island. Stayed at the Fiesta Americana the first trip back, then brought the kids in 90 to Plaza las Glorias. Stayed there for about 5 years, snorkeling, walking to town, discovering all the restaurants and the beauty of the ocean. Snorkeling was not enough by 94, decided to get certified in a quarry in Illinois. First jump into the blue Cozumel waters and the hook was fixed, for life.

I had a friend who is an avid diver who was my mentor and to this day my best dive buddy. We started to rent houses so our families could vacation together. One by one the kids were certified, my dive buddy fell in love with Cozumel, bought a house here in 2000....it was 5 years later before we bought our place on the island. I have not liked all the changes on the island, the cruise ships and congestion it brought, but I realized after Wilma that we are all so fortunate that Cozumel is a cruise destination. It helped to rebuild the island in no time! I miss the long nights admiring the salsa dancers at the old Joe's Reggae bar. What a great place that was. Today, I love the island as much as my first trip, just a wiser love. Without the rose colored glasses. After all the learning experiences, which have been hard learned, we all still look forward to coming home. Buyers, as said over and over on this site, beware! It took us 4 attorney's to finally get title! I do regret the small shops that are pushed out of business with rent increases. I sorely miss Coffeelia. I cherish the new, Kinta & El Pie de Carbon, still love Guidos! The water is what keeps me loving this place, I still stare at the color, impossible blues!
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#20 DONO

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Posted 09 February 2011 - 03:10 PM

We came to Coz about 10 years ago and right off the plane we hated the place. We thought it was flat, ugly, smelly, dirty etc etc with everyone wanting in your pockets. Well.....we've been back at least once a year since. We found it to be the most relaxing place in the world (and we've been places) with some of the best people you'll ever find. We like to be left alone and on Coz we have found how to really get away. We've learned to travel with so little and experience so much. We even had 9 Cubans declare themselves to us on the East side once. (I really didn't want 9 Cubans). We made many good friends over the years. We even turned our back yard into a mini Cozumel. We dream of moving there (like most) but for now it's a dream. I guess sitting at the old Dzul Ha with an ice cold Sol, gazing out at that beautiful blue water was our downfall. I could write pages of our adventures on Cozumel. Hope to be back soon.

Dono

I'll give cudos to the miricle whip lady and her hubby too!
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